Abu Dhabi Investment Authority to Funnel $600 Million in Reliance Retail
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Abu Dhabi Investment Authority to Funnel $600 Million in Reliance Retail

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Following Qatar, another oil-rich Gulf sovereign fund, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), is looking to add to Mukesh Ambani's vast retail empire. According to people familiar with the developments, ADIA is looking to invest $600 million in the organised retailing business of Asia's richest person, at valuations that are significantly higher than those in an earlier closed round three years ago.

ADIA is already an investor in Reliance Retail Ventures (RRVL), having purchased a 1.2% stake in the company for Rs 5,512.50 crore ($751 million) in October 2020, when the company raised Rs 47,265 crore by selling a 10.09% stake to a group of bulge-bracket investors that included Saudi PIF, Mubadala, GIC of Singapore, Silverlake, TPG, and GA.

KKR has already made a follow-on investment of Rs 2,069.50 crore at a pre-money equity value of Rs 8.361 lakh crore ($100 billion) from the previous group of investors, putting RRVL among the top four companies in the country by implied market capitalization.

Qatar's $1 billion investment has been the only new investment in the current round of fund raising.

The current valuation is nearly 60% higher than the previous financing round three years ago, but it is significantly lower than what most equity analysts believe the value of the privately held retail business to be. AllianceBernstein analysts recommended a $131 billion valuation for Reliance Retail in May.

"This further cements the strategic relations between the two companies on the back of a strong government relationship between the two sovereigns," said an official who requested anonymity because the talks are private. "ADIA is a major investor in Indian equities, infrastructure and financial services, but it is not often that it doubles down - especially at such premium valuations."